(Halifax, NS) In AUS men's hockey action, the Saint Mary's Huskies hosted the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus for a Friday night game at the Dauphinee Centre. A strong first period helped propel the Huskies past the Aigles Bleus by a score of 5-1.
On the power play less than a minute into the game, the Aigles Bleus had a couple of scoring chances with shots from the point that were redirected near the net. After killing off the penalty, however, the Huskies took control for most of the first period.
Saint Mary's opened the scoring about halfway through the period. On the man advantage, Nicholas Welsh (Halifax, NS) was in the middle of the ice at the point and passed to Mitchell Balmas (Sydney, NS) at the top of the circle for a one timer. Goalie Étienne Montpetit (Valleyfield, QC) got a piece of the shot but it slipped short side over his pad. Anthony Repaci (Toronto, ON) also assisted on the Huskies' first goal.
The Aigles Bleus got some chances by clogging up the neutral zone and jumping on any misplayed pucks, but they didn't get any continuous time in the Huskies' zone.
With two and a half minutes to go, Saint Mary's scored on the rush. Coming into the Aigle Bleus' zone down the left wing, Keith Getson (Bridgewater, NS) passed across to Jacob Friend (Bowmanville, ON) in the slot, who had time and space to make a nice deke and flip the puck into the top of the net on his backhand. Joel Bishop (St. John's, NL) got the other assist as the Huskies went up 2-0.
It didn't stay that way for long, as the home team added a third tally with 30 seconds left in the period. A shot from Alexander Peters (Blyth, ON) went high over the net and bounced off the glass to Dawson Theede (Brooklin, ON) on the far side of the net. As Montpetit scrambled to find the puck, Theede corralled it and scored.
The first period ended 3-0 for the Huskies and up 10-3 in shots.
The Aigles Bleus turned it around in the second period, putting lots of pressure on the Huskies. Switching from passing the puck out on the breakout to skating more, they had a lot more success and created several chances.
Halfway through the period, Ryan Chiasson (Dieppe, NB) sent a low shot hard on net from the high slot. Danick Crête (Rigaud, QC) put the rebound on net as well, but Huskies' goalie Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC) made two solid saves on the play.
The Aigles Bleus had a couple odd man rushes late in the period. First was a two on zero with Vincent Deslauriers (Blainville, QC) and Samuel Guilbault (Varennes, QC) that ended with a shot going high, and later a breakaway for Gabrier Vanier (Boisbriand, QC) off of a stretch pass, which ended with Brassard making a pad save.
Moncton went on the power play a couple more times and outshot the Huskies 13-9 in the second period, but it ended with the same score as the first: 3-0 for Saint Mary's.
Just over a minute into the third period, the Huskies extended their lead with a goal from Getson. He tapped in the puck after a long shot from the point from Dylan Di Perna (Nobleton, ON).
Conor McGlynn (Oakville, ON) made it 5-0 for the Huskies with 13 minutes left in the game. On the rush, he came into Moncton's zone down the left wing and let loose with a shot at the face off dot that went top shelf. Bronson Beaton (Springhill, NS) and Peters assisted on the goal.
Down by a handful of goals, the Aigles Bleus elected to put in goalie Alexi Thibaudeau (Gatineau QC) in for the rest of the game.
After all their dangerous scoring chances, Moncton's first goal came from a relatively innocent looking play. With five minutes left in the game, it was a shot from the point from Francis Thibeault (Val d'Amour, NB) that made its way to the back of the net. Alexandre Bernier (Dieppe, NB) and Guilbault got the assists.
The hole they had dug was too deep however, as the game ended 5-1, not without some heated exchanges after the final buzzer.
The Huskies host UNB tomorrow night and Moncton travels to Wolfville to take on the Axemen.
Sarah Moore, SMU
Photo Nick Pearce